Ferniehirst Castle lies two hours south of Edinburgh, Scotlands beautiful and vibrant capital city. With streets steeped in history and a thriving cultural scene, the City of Edinburgh offers the perfect balance between all things traditional and contemporary. During the month of August, Edinburgh hosts its renowned international arts festival. Taking place around the same time are the Edinburgh Book Festival, Jazz Festival and Military Tattoo. Later in the year, the city comes alive during the winter festivals which feature the month-long Edinburgh's Christmas and culminates with the world-famous Hogmanay (New Year) celebrations. Spring time sees Ceilidh Culture, the Science Festival and the Edinburgh Film Festival providing the entertainment while the Children's Festival starts the summer with playful exuberance.
Should you prefer the slower pace of the Borders, there is plenty to see and do in the local area. Two miles north of Ferniehirst is the colourful and historical town of Jedburgh. The town is dominated by the red sandstone ruins of Jedburgh Abbey, founded in 1138 by David I. Other attractions are Mary Queen of Scots House, a museum which tells the story of her tragic life, and, nearby, the Jedforest Deer and Farm Park.
Further north, on the River Tweed, is the picturesque town of Kelso, with its own abbey, built some ten years before Jedburghs. Across from the ruins of Kelso Abbey are the remains of the once-mighty Roxburgh Castle, where James II was killed in 1460. The majestic Floors Castle, Scotlands largest inhabited house, stands in parkland overlooking the river and houses fine works of art and other antiquities. The impressive bridge spanning the Tweed at Kelso was built by John Rennie in 1803. It was the model for London's Waterloo Bridge. Events in the town include a large agricultural show and the Kelso Races.
As the Borders is a region famed for its textiles, a major attraction for many is to browse and buy beautiful tweeds and tartans and the highest quality knitwear direct from the local mills and shops. The town of Hawick, to the west of Ferniehirst, is a major centre for that industry today and well worth a visit. Attractions include Drumlanrig's Tower, a romantic monument with visitor centre revealing a dark history of cross-border warfare from the middle ages to the Tower's eventual conversion into a hotel in the 1930s. Wilton Lodge Park, on the wooded banks of the River Teviot, has 107 acres of riverside and tree-lined walks, and a walled garden. The Hawick Museum and Scott Gallery detail the town's history and provide a venue for visiting exhibitions. Other events include the Summer Festival, Jazz Festival and the new Reiver Festival.
Whether you explore by car, on bike or on foot, you'll discover friendly towns and picturesque villages, as well as the castles, abbeys, stately homes and museums that illustrate the exciting and often bloody history of the area. It's that history which is commemorated in the Common Ridings and other local festivals, creating a colourful pageant much enjoyed by visitors and native Borderers alike.
It should also come as no surprise that an area so rich in hills and moorland, valleys and rivers should have mastered so many ways of enjoying the great outdoors. The area is a paradise for hillwalkers and cyclist of all types while in the River Tweed and its many tributaries, you'll find some of the best fishing in Scotland. The Scottish Borders is also home to rugby and passion and rivalry inevitably emerge as the Rugby Sevens tournament gets under way through spring and summer.